Another beginner airbrush Question?

the lower the psi , the more thinned the paint must be ? trying to do very small thin Camo lines and post shading?


More thinner helps, but the amount needed is quite variable. Also you can get your airbrush closer to the model due to the lower pressure. But yes, lower pressure, more thinner and a closer application will all contribute to you creating those thinner lines and post shading.

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ty , also just finished spraying , I noticed the surface was a little gritty and pebbly to the touch if you run your finger across it , not enough thinner ?

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Grit? Sounds like paint may be drying too fast. A little retarder can often help wirh that.

Best concise airbrush video I’ve found.

Intro to airbrushing by State of Play is an excellent primer video. The video says miniatures but it also applies to models in general.


The paint is drying before hitting the plastic. Thinner and/or paint retarder should help.


Well let’s start with the basics. What paint are you using? Type and brand? And what are you using for thinner? Then what is your ratio of paint to thinner?


Tamiya Acrylic, Tamiya Laq thinner, aprox 50/50

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As I did years ago.

Get some paint.

Get thinners same manufacturer.

Get a large empty plastic water bottle.

Then practice.

Paint differently thinned

Close up further away.

By that time say 2 hours you will be an expert :rofl: :joy: :upside_down_face: :wink: :innocent:


Yes, I’d say try a bit more thinner. Perhaps a 6 parts thinner to 4 parts paint. Thinner ratios will need to be varied depending upon the paint used, even with the same brand but in different colors, and results desired.

And like said above, get a paint test mule. But the best test mules are an old model. Those have the angles, corners, and compound curves that plastic spoons or water bottles do not have. Plus you can use them over and over to practice new techniques and new materials upon… panel line shading, pre shading, post shading…


should i add some retarder ? not needed with laq thinner ? but needed with x20, thats the alcohol thinner

X20 is supposed to contain a retarder in it. At least as I was told by a fellow IPMS member who had some analyzed by a chemist at his work.
Another option is to try Gunze Mr Leveling Thinner. That stuff gets optimal performance from Tamiya Acrylics.

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Best suggestion. Practice experiment. Each of us will have a different technique which you cannot teach. You have to find it yourself.

Finishes are different depending on the subject. Even now after 18 years I will practice on a say a shading before a session to get the feel.



Practice definitely helps as mentioned above.

FWIW - my subjective opinion on spraying Tamiya with various airbrushes like Paasche H, VL & Iwata Micro B, with different thinners, here’s how I’d rate them.

  1. Mr Color Leveling Thinner - BEST, no fast dry issues, hits plastic and self levels for excellent finish.

  2. Tamiya Lacquer Thinner - Excellent

  3. Tamiya X20A - Good but prone to drying to quick for a gritty finish depending on temp & humidity

  4. Water - Mediocre spray, didn’t adhere as well

  5. No thinner - with enough pressure and wide tip, Tamiya sprays fair unthinned

If spraying Tamiya for me its Mr Color Leveling Thinner or Tamiya Lacquer. Otherwise, I’m not happy with the result most of the time.


oh cool , I have Mr Color LT, did not no they were compatible with Tamiya, whats your mix ratio suggestion? Do you mix MR CLT with the acrylic or Laq Tamiya?


I haven’t yet tried MRCLT with Tamiya lacquers, only their basic acrylics. Start with maybe 4 parts paint to 3 parts thinner and adjust from there. You’re gonna love the combination


Basically what @Stikpusher Carlos suggested.

The amount of MCLT can vary slightly. Spraying closer with less pressure and probably a little more thinner than spray further away.

Please be sure to have EXCELLENT ventilation using MCLT, it is a synthetic lacquer thinner. If spraying anything I have my on respirator & maximum possible ventilation.

I haven’t sprayed Tamiya Lacquers, no experience with them.

FWIW - I’m an old school Floquil paint devotee and Floquil sprays better with MCLT (best) than Dio-Sol (fair) or Floquil Military Thinner (very good) or Lighter Fluid (excellent) Mineral Spirits (good).

The magic elixir Mr Color Leveling Thinner should in my opinion be treated with respect and care when it comes to personal safety ie lots of ventilation and correctly rated respirator.


Got a bit mixed up earlier stating that I use Tamiya Lacquer. Which I do not.

I only use Tamiya X-20A thinner. Open a new bottle of Tamiya XF & fill to the bottom of the neck. Never add any more. (except weathering & effects)

Results for me perfect. However it is as mentioned before your own technique of how you spray the stuff. Type of brush you are using & the size of the nozzle. Keep the nozzle & needle scrupulously clean . Where you live humidity & temperature.

Get all of that right, ha ha ha, & you are on a roll. My technique is always keep it simple, keep it the same, do not get complicated. Works every time for me. But took time & that practice.